Press release template download

Press release template download

Steve Blears Media Training Podcast

Press release template download. In this guide, we will work through writing press releases. Listen to the podcast audio guide and download the FREE press release template.

Maybe you're new to the idea of sending a press release, or your business doesn't have a PR firm or PR department, but you've got great news to share. You're in exactly the right place.

Download the press release template

To get started, Download the FREE press release template which I'll discuss in this episode. 

What is a press release?

Before we start writing our press release, let's talk about what they are and when to use them. A press release is usually a short Word document you post or email to journalists to get media coverage. You'll share your news, like an event, a new product, or something big happening. The goal is to grab media attention and get coverage for your business or organisation.

Press release writing style

When I write a press release, I aim for clarity and straightforwardness. I include all the essential 'W's: Who, What, Where, Why, and When. This means covering who is involved, what the story is, the timing and location of the event, and why it's important.

Do press releases help SEO?

Yes. When a press release is picked up and reported by various media outlets, it can lead to the creation of backlinks to your website. 

Backlinks are just a URL to your site. For example: Bit Famous Ltd offers coaching and training that helps businesses and organisations communicate with confidence.

Backlinks, especially if they come from reputable and high-authority websites like newspapers and broadcasters, can enhance your site's authority in the eyes of search engines, potentially improving your search rankings. It's a good idea to add your URL to your press release.

Formatting in a press release template

There's a standard format for press releases, designed to help journalists quickly understand your story and decide if they want to cover it. try to keep them short, just a page or two of A4. Our press release template includes all the sections you'll need to include.

Do I have a news story?

First things first, I always consider if your story is newsworthy. To check if your idea qualifies as news, listen to my podcast episode where I discuss what makes a story newsworthy: How does the news work?

This episode will help you answer questions including:

  • Is my story timely, relevant, and interesting to my intended audience? 
  • Is the story geographically or emotionally close to those people you are trying to reach?
  • Is it something novel or unexpected? 

Once I've created my press release where do I send it?

Before you start writing your press release spend some time considering where you will send it. eg.

  •  If my story is locally significant, go for local media. 
  • If it's about a niche business topic, target industry publications. 
  • Consider online media and bloggers who might be interested. 
  • For visually appealing stories, TV, online and print media are great options.

Does your story have a great location or subject that can be filmed or photographed?

Engaging visuals are a key factor in getting your story picked up by TV, online and print media. 

I avoid clichéd visuals like staff holding oversized cheques – many outlets don't like these. 

Who to send your press release to

Email is the standard approach, although some PRs like to mail a paper copy. All media outlets will have a website contacts page with their newsdesk email address.

A more direct approach

It's often more effective to find the email address of a journalist who covers your topic and send it directly to them. You can usually figure out their email format, or find it in their social media profiles.

Do I need to send a press release?

A traditional press release isn't always necessary. If you already have a journalist as a contact or a working relationship with a reporter it can be just as effective to send them a brief email outlining the story. Offer them the idea and suggest who they could interview. You could also try this via direct message on social media.

Press releases, your questions answered

Do press releases need to be double-spaced? No, but format them so they are clear and easy to read.

Can a press release be two pages long? Brief is best, less than 2 pages but they can be as long as you wish, especially if your story requires lots of detail eg. a report highlighting failings at an institution.

Should I capitalise a press release title? This isn't necessary. Your press release will be judged on its news value alone.

When is the best time to send a press release? If your story revolves around a time-sensitive event always send it well in advance. Depending on deadlines newsdesks are typically busier in the morning. Unless you have a large breaking story to offer don't expect a swift reaction to your story.

What does "for immediate release" mean? This text often appears at the top of press releases that have no embargo or can be reported at any time after they've been received.

What does "embargoed" mean? "Embargoed" refers to a specific instruction that the information contained in the press release should not be published or reported on until a specified date and time. 

Embargoes are seen as an "ethical request" not to report a story. Journalists have no legal requirement to stick to the embargo. The reason for an embargo can vary. It might be to coincide with a product launch, a significant announcement, or to align with other marketing or public relations strategies.

Embargoes can also be used to ensure that all media outlets have the opportunity to report the news at the same time, creating a level playing field. If one news outlet breaks an embargo, the embargo will be disregarded by all other organisations. 

Conclusion

Remember, even if your press release doesn't get picked up, it's a step towards getting noticed. Keep trying with your next story. If you're looking to grow your media profile, don't hesitate to get in touch! Search for Marvellous Media Training or email me at hello@bitfamous.co.uk.

PRESS RELEASE TEMPLATE (download press release template pdf)

[Headline]

Insert a clear, concise, and engaging headline that summarises your story. Avoid being overly clever; clarity is key.

[Subheading (Optional)]

Provide a brief expansion of the headline if necessary, maintaining clarity and relevance.

[Date and Location]

Include the release date and the location of the news/event. This helps in identifying the timeliness and geographical relevance of the story.

[Introduction (First Paragraph)]

- Summarise the most important aspects of your story (who, what, where, why, when) in no more than 15-20 words.
- This should read like the opening of a news story, capturing the 'top line' of your press release.

[Body (Second and Third Paragraph)]

- Provide detailed information about the news/event, maintaining a focus on newsworthiness. - Include any surprising elements or aspects that solve problems or add value.
- Keep the content within 300-400 words to ensure conciseness.

[Quotes]

- Use quotes to add credibility, insight, and a human touch.
- Ensure they sound real and provide perspective, avoiding jargon and technical language.

[Boilerplate - About the Company]

- Give a brief, relevant background about the company or organisation.
- This section should support the news/event, providing context and credibility.

[Call to Action (Optional)]

- If relevant, include a call to action or what you want readers to do next. - Keep this clear and direct.

[Contact Information]

- Provide comprehensive contact details for further information (name, phone number, email, website). - This should be the go-to person for all media inquiries.

[Notes to Editors (Optional)]

- Include any supplementary information that may assist journalists.
- This can contain background details, additional statistics, or related reports.